It’s spring again in Chattanooga, which means warmer temperatures, vibrant, blooming flora – and a wide variety of allergens. Chattanooga was rated the third worst city in America for allergy sufferers last year. It is “worse than average” for both pollen levels and the amount of people on allergy medication. If you are an allergy sufferer in the area, you are probably already aware of this fact. It isn’t something that you can easily overlook.
While the home service experts at Metro can’t help you with your allergies outside of the home, we can definitely give you some tips for dealing with them indoors. We have been assisting our Chattanooga neighbors with allergy triggers for years. Our indoor air quality solutions and practical tips for combatting allergies in the home can help drastically minimize the symptoms. Last month we went over strategies for creating a better IAQ after the long winter. This month we specifically target indoor allergens; which can be even more extreme if your household is not prepared.
We’ve complied a short list of indoor spring allergy tips for you to consider:
- Annual HVAC Maintenance: It’s spring – the recommended time for an annual HVAC tune-up. A clean HVAC system can help combat the amount of allergens that are cycled into your home. Havin the unit thoroughly cleaned and inspected will help ensure that it cycles out the indoor air effectively. Also, changing out the air filter (making sure that it’s MERV-rated from 8-13) will help to catch pollen and mold spores. During allergy season, try to change out the filter once a month.
MERV Ratings: What Do They Mean?
- “Unwelcome” Mats: Consider buying new door mats for the season to show those tracked in allergens that they are “unwelcome.” Door mats have proven beneficial for reducing the amount of pollutants that shoes can into the house. Keep a mat at both the front and back doors and remind everyone to use them regularly. You might also go the extra mile and, during peak allergy season, ask that everyone remove their shoes before entering the house.
- Clean After Outside Activity: If you have been outside for a prolonged period of time, such as a walk in the park or working in the garden, taking a shower once you return home is good practice. In addition to hair and skin, allergens can infiltrate your clothing, so make sure that change clothes as well. Contain your dirty clothing in a hamper or plastic bag until they can be properly washed.
- Fresh Air: During peak allergy seasons, opening a window is not recommended. But proper air circulation is key in fighting indoor allergies. If your home doesn’t have central air and an open window is the best way to circulate the air – use this “window:” The allergen levels outside are highest in the morning and in the evening. Try opening the windows in the late morning and early afternoon for about a half an hour or so.
- Run the A/C – If you have central air, try to keep the windows closed during peak allergy seasons. This might be difficult on particularly beautiful spring days, but will help greatly in keeping the indoor allergens at bay. Run the air conditioning or fan cycle if it begins to get a bit warm inside the house. The new filter with that high MERV rating will help contain whatever allergens have found their way into the house.
- Vacuum Regularly: If your allergies are severe, consider vacuuming regularly. Many allergens thrive indoors where they can accumulate and develop concentrated levels well beyond anything found outside. Vacuuming your home on a regular basis with a HEPA filter will help keep the contaminants from overpowering your home. If you have pets or wall-to-wall carpeting (or both), try to vacuum daily during the peak season.
HEPA Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
- Buy a Pollen Mask: Do you do a lot of yard work in the spring? If you have tasks that keep you outside for long periods of time, stock up on some pollen masks. Before you leave the house, check the pollen forecast for the day. If a high alert has been issued in Chattanooga (which is often), wear the mask while outside.
- Schedule an IAQ Assessment: If someone in your household suffers from extreme allergies, consider scheduling an indoor air quality (IAQ) assessment from Metro. One of our professional technicians will perform a detailed inspection of your air quality and review the results with you. They can help create a proactive solution that will best suit the needs of your home.
Dealing with outdoor allergies in Chattanooga is difficult enough without having to deal with them in your home as well. Being proactive about your indoor air during allergy season will help minimize those allergy triggers. Above all, keep your home clean and be mindful of outdoor activity and what you could be bringing inside the house. If these DIY solutions are not enough to reduce your symptoms, remember that the Metro experts can help with additional IAQ solutions. Call us at 423-616-1025 or 706-516-1980 to schedule an assessment today!
Early Spring IAQ in Your Chattanooga Home
The Gift of Quality Air
Looking to remove indoor allergens from your Chattanooga home? Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is the service company you want! Call us today at (423) 616-1025!